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Italy’s Defense chief Crosetto meets Guterres, Lacroix; confirms Italy’s role in UNIFIL

NEW YORK, 27 NOVEMBRE – During a meeting at the United Nations headquarters in New York with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Italy’s Defense Minister Guido Crosetto confirmed his country commitment to continue participating in peacekeeping missions. “Italy and the UN have always cooperated: we are among the major contributors to peacekeeping missions. I have confirmed our willingness to continue participating, even to develop a larger role within the UN in areas of major crises that concern us the most, such as Gaza and Ukraine,” said the Italian Defense Chief, who recently returned from a mission in Israel.

Crosetto“We argued for an increased global role of the United Nations because our hope for peace is based on multilateral forums like this to seek paths that can help resolve the ongoing conflicts we face.” Among the items on the agenda were the Gaza conflict, as well as Ukraine and the Sahel: “All those areas that concern stability and peace,” said the minister when addressing journalists after the meeting.

Crosetto LacroixAt the center of the talks with Guterres and UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, Jean Pierre Lacroix, was the future of UNIFIL, the peacekeeping mission deployed along the Blue Line that marks the border between southern Lebanon and northern Israel: “We need to reflect on the security and effectiveness of UN missions,” said the minister, who, with the UN counterparts, discussed possible escalations of the conflict as well as the need to think about the future in Gaza through the UN, “perhaps through a UN presence, which would be crucial.” According to Crosetto, “this multilateral organization must assume a greater role in difficult times like these.” Organizations like the UN, he added, “I don’t know if they can, I know they must work. I know that the hope for peace relies on dialogue where dialogue doesn’t exist, and diplomacy was born to heal wounds that seemed unhealable.”

The risks of conflict escalation are always present. Crosetto expressed satisfaction with the recent ceasefire, stating that “Italy played an important role in achieving it from the beginning by promoting dialogue through Qatar.”

In Gaza, Italy is already engaged in the deployment of mobile hospitals: “We are moving forward. There is a site visit planned to assess the technical feasibility in the assigned area. In the coming weeks, we will finally be able to set foot on the ground and provide assistance to those in need.” (@OnuItalia)

Il giornale Italiano delle Nazioni Unite. Ha due redazioni, una a New York, l’altra a Roma.

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